‘American Idol’ pitcher gets save … that he never earned

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

In February, Prep Rally wrote about Garner (N.C.) High pitcher Scotty McCreery, who at the time was facing the horns of a dilemma, forced to choose between continuing a budding "American Idol" contestant process or return home to North Carolina to pitch for Garner's varsity team, something he had spent three years building toward. He picked the former.

Garner pitcher Scotty McCreery performs on American Idol
Garner pitcher Scotty McCreery performs on American Idol

Evidently that was a good decision. The country crooner has advanced all the way to the contest's Final Four, putting himself in position to either win the competition and the recording deal that comes with it, or potentially land a deal from another record label based on the range of McCreery's Johnny Cash-like deep-throated twang has shown over the course of the show's season.

Garner pitcher Scotty McCreery
Garner pitcher Scotty McCreery

Still, for purely academic purposes, McCreery will go down in the North Carolina record books as the relief pitcher of record for Garner last Friday. That might seem plausible, until one considers the fact that McCreery was actually still in Los Angeles when the save in question was recorded.

According to the News & Observer, it's unknown exactly why McCreery's name was submitted as the pitcher who finished the seventh inning for the Trojans in the team's 4-3 victory against East Wake (N.C.) High. It's believed that Alex Hulme, who traditionally closes Garner's games, deserves the actual credit for the save.

Yet, the officially submitted box score lists McCreery as the pitcher who closed the game, and because McCreery is still on the team's roster -- he was included on the initial roster submitted to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association because it was unknown how long his "American Idol" adventure would last -- he gets credit for the save, despite the fact that he didn't actually earn it.

Making the incorrect box score all the more unique is the fact that it will mark the only time McCreery will ever appear in a box score for the Garner varsity team. The pitcher starred for Garner's junior varsity squad in 2010, and was penciled in for a spot in the team's starting rotation for this, his senior season. Since he never made it back to the team while working his way up the "American Idol" standings, he never actually pitched in a high school varsity game.

Now, for official purposes, he did. Even though he didn't.

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